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CeMAP 2 & 3: How The Economy affects Mortgages

Updated: 6 days ago

As a mortgage advisor it is SO important you keep up to date with 'what's going on in the mortgage markets' & actually 'what's going on with the economy' tends to give us a good indication as to mortgages ahead of time.


Let me give you a quick overview to support your CeMAP 1, 2 & 3 studies!





The Mortgage Market: A Quick Primer

So, what exactly is a mortgage? Simply put, it's a loan you take out to buy a property, and it's closely tied to various economic factors. Think of it like a dance – when one partner moves, the other follows. The Bank of England plays a huge role here, setting interest rates that ripple through the mortgage market.


Economic Growth and Rising Interest Rates: The Ups and Downs

When the economy is booming, things can get a bit tricky for potential homebuyers. Here’s why:

  • Increased Borrowing Costs: In a growing economy, inflation can creep up, prompting the Bank of England to raise interest rates. Higher rates mean more expensive mortgages. It’s like trying to climb a steeper hill – your monthly payments get higher, making it tougher to afford a house.

  • Reduced Mortgage Demand: With borrowing costs on the rise, fewer people can afford mortgages, and the market cools down. It’s like fewer dancers joining the floor because the music's tempo has sped up too much.

  • Investment Decisions: High interest rates make property investments less appealing compared to other options like savings accounts. So, fewer people are tempted to take the plunge into property ownership.


Recessions and Lower Interest Rates: A Silver Lining

On the flip side, when the economy hits a rough patch, the dynamics change:

  • Cheaper Borrowing: During a recession, the Bank of England might lower interest rates to spur borrowing and spending. This makes mortgages more accessible, like turning the dance floor into a welcoming place for everyone.

  • Increased Affordability: Lower interest rates mean lower monthly mortgage payments, making home loans more achievable. It’s like finding out your favorite dish is on sale – suddenly, it's within reach!

  • Housing Market Recovery: Easier, cheaper credit can boost the housing market, making homeownership possible even for those with lower incomes. It’s a beacon of hope in tough economic times.


Economic Indicators: The Movers and Shakers

Several key factors in the economic environment play pivotal roles in shaping the mortgage market:

  1. Inflation

  • Impact on Purchasing Power: High inflation erodes consumer purchasing power, making it harder to save for down payments or manage monthly mortgage payments. It’s like trying to fill a leaky bucket with water.

  • Interest Rate Adjustments: To combat inflation, the Bank of England might raise interest rates, leading to higher mortgage costs. It's a balancing act to keep the economy in check.

  1. Employment and Wages

  • Income Stability: Employment rates and wages are crucial for mortgage affordability. Stable jobs and good wages mean more people can afford mortgages. It’s the foundation of a strong, confident housing market.

  • Economic Confidence: Secure jobs and higher incomes boost confidence in making big investments, like buying a home. High confidence levels often translate into more activity in the property market.

  1. Spending Behavior

  • Market Expectations: People's expectations about future economic conditions can drive mortgage demand. If folks think interest rates will rise soon, they might rush to secure a mortgage now, before costs go up.

The Current Economic Context: Navigating Uncertainty

Right now, the UK is grappling with several challenges. The lingering effects of COVID-19, Brexit, and other factors have created a mixed economic outlook:

  • Potential Recession: Slow GDP growth has some worried about an economic decline. This caution affects big spending decisions, including home purchases.

  • Rising Interest Rates: To curb inflation, the Bank of England has raised the base rate, making mortgages more expensive. It’s a tough time for those looking to buy.

  • Housing Market Impact: High interest rates and economic uncertainty make it less attractive to take out new mortgages. The dance floor is quieter, with fewer participants.

The UK mortgage market and the broader economy are intricately linked. Interest rates, inflation, employment rates, and consumer confidence all play crucial roles in this dynamic dance. Understanding these connections helps you navigate the path to becoming a mortgage advisor  with a bit more confidence and clarity.

 

References

Benetton, M. (2021). Leverage regulation and market structure: A structural model of the UK mortgage market. The Journal of Finance76(6), 2997-3053.

Gupta, R., Hasan, M. M., Islam, S. Z., Yasmin, T., & Uddin, J. (2023). Evaluating the Brexit and COVID-19’s influence on the UK economy: A data analysis. Plos one18(6), e0287342.

Shahvaroughi Farahani, M. (2021). A review study of the effects of coronavirus and Brexit on the UK economy. International Journal of New Political Economy2(2), 201-227.

 

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